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[Amateur film: Summers collection: San Francisco, California, 1941] (Part I)

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[Amateur film: Summers collection: San Francisco, California, 1941] (Part I)

Published 1941

Evocative silent Kodachrome compendium of San Francisco scenes just before the U.S. entered World War II, concentrating on aerials, Chinatown, Market Street, and transportation scenes.

Run time 13:03
Producer Summers, John H.
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Si, C


Comprehensive film of San Francisco, California and vicinity shot in the summer of 1941.

¥ 13:57:09:14- 13:57:32:12
Nice aerial seriesÑin every shot we see the shadow of the plane. Starts over Marin County, cuts to view of the wing of the plane and a residential development below, cut to green fields, cut to dry, brown land, cut to suburbs, and finally end with grassless land and the prominent shadow of the plane.

¥ 13:57:55:12- 13:58:02:12
Pan of the airport's "passenger station" in San Francisco. People stand waiting for a plane to unload its passengers. The wing of the plane is in the foreground.

¥ 13:58:10:26- 13:58:30:12
Medium shot of a sign stating "San Francisco Airport, Airline Passengers, August 1941." Cut to a nice pan of the San Francisco airportÑits parking lot and various buildings.

¥ 13:58:36:21- 13:59:03:00
Another pan of the airport. It begins with the image of a plane taking off, moves over for us to view the "Skywalk Cafe" and cars driving along the road. Cut to the front of the airport where a man walks out of the center building.

¥ 13:59:33:20- 14:00:11:12
Nice shaky driving POV down Market Street going towards the Embarcadero (bustling sidewalks and businesses to the side). Cut to a different view of people running across the street. We approach the waterfront building and can also see the Lincoln Hotel.

¥ 14:01:58:21- 14:02:10:04
Interesting, chaotic shot at Market and Ellis StreetsÑwe see the tops of people's heads as they cross the street with the Embarcadero in the background. Ends with a pan up a tall building.

¥ 14:03:03:11- 14:03:32:23
Cars make their ways down a Russian Hill street with a view of the Bay Bridge in the distance.

¥ 14:03:59:18- 14:04:06:21
Beautiful shot from the bottom of a long street (on a hill). The sun shines at the top of the streetÑthe buildings and people on the sidewalk look dark in comparison.

worth noting: many short shots of Chinatown Ñ schoolgirls, businessmen, shopkeepers, and more.

¥ 14:11:01:16- 14:11:26:26
Nice pan of restaurant strip on Fisherman's Wharf Ñ Tom Tom's, Joe's, and others (nice signs). Sea gulls sit on top of the buildings, and cars are parked in front of the restaurants.

¥ 14:11:27:11- 14:11:47:25
Montage of restaurants in Fisherman's Wharf. We see several crab and fish restaurants with nice signs and DiMaggio's (with a baseball atop the building). The tops of ships are visible behind the buildings.

worth noting: short shots of men working on a fish boat

¥ 14:16:43:20- 14:17:37:20
Wobbly shot of a silver, seaplane taxiing on the San Francisco Bay before taking off. Cut to front view of the plane taking off into the air.

¥ 14:18:21:24- 14:18:36:27
Soft focus of an old Key System electric train pulling into a station (people stand on the platform). People get on and off the crowded train.

San Francisco, Calif. (History and culture) California (History and culture) 1940s Aerials Aircraft Golden Gate Bridge Airports San Francisco International Airport Airline operations Trolleys Streetcars Transportation Automobiles (1940s) Cities Crowds Sidewalks Buildings Chinatown (San Francisco) Pedestrians Coit Tower (San Francisco) Telegraph Hill (San Francisco) Fisherman's Wharf (San Francisco) Home movies Amateur movies Fishing boats Boats and boating (Fishing boats) Crabs Lobsters Food (sold on street) Point-of-view shots (driving) Aircraft (Flying boats) Aircraft (China Clippers) Pan American Airways Locomotives Railroad stations


Reviewer: Pietz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 16, 2009
Subject: Part 1 and Part 2 Are Both Fun to Watch
If you know the city well, you'll love this home movie. The images are clear and the cameraman gives us good long shots of most things. San Francisco is a pretty place, but the shots from high places will make show you just how much today's skyscrapers are blocking what were once beautiful views.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 4, 2005
Subject: From high on the hills, to Shanghai Lows.
When I watched the Summers films of his trip to SF, I think I am coming to the conclusion that these are probably the best put together of all the SF amateur films. As his show a great sense of filmmaking, style and editing that make this all worthwhile.
We start with Mr Summers at home, with all his film (I dont think this is the actual film, just outtakes) all heaped uop in a pile. With Mr. Summers somewhat perplexed. Well not really. Then we cut to a view from a plane and great aerial views from a plane. From the looks of things, I thought this was obviously a small craft plane that he rented out privately, but as he gets to the airport, I find that I was mistaken, it was a United plane! So gee, I think planes in those days took aerial tours of the city before they landed.. So off we go! Summers wastes no time and goes downtown! The first shot he gets is rather strange, as he goes down Market Street in a cablecar.. Almost the same set up as the After The Fire in 1909 short on the archives. Very eerie, and I wonder if he knew about the film.. Then we take a grand tour of the downtown, as he goes up and down Market, through Chinatown (Yes! Shanghai Lows!!) Gets shots of the irritated Chinese people, then goes aerial again.. This is fun! I wonder what part 2 has in store?

Highly recommended!
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